I:Scintilla: Dying & Falling

Dying & Falling
(Alfa Matrix)

In their eighth year, Chicago-based electronic/industrial rock band I:Scintilla has made a steady climb amongst the ranks of the undergroud. With influences ranging from Nine Inch Nails to Garbage and Skinny Puppy, the band is led by front woman Brittany Bindrim and her stark, introspective and certainly vivid lyrics. The twin guitar attack of founding member Jim Cookas along with newest member Brent Leintner drive the songs with their distorted buzzsaw guitar rhythms and drummer Vincent Grech pounds the kit with exactitude.

Back with the follow up to their 2007 full length Optics, the quartet paints a larger landscape on Dying & Falling. The core of the I:Scintilla sound is still very present, but the 11 tracks shows a more mature band willing to think outside the box of their industrial genre. Throughout the album there are beautiful samples, distorted vocals and hints of classical orchestration. This isn’t to say I:Scintilla has gone soft, not in the least. They prove that right away with the machine gun guitars on “Shattered,” along with the military marching drums that thunder behind Bindrim’s soaring vocal delivery.

As for the afformentioned maturity, “The Shake” showcases their growth perfectly The tack has Bindrim stepping outside her comfort zone, something she was apprehensive of doing in the past. The song is a big production ballad with a lush orchestra full of strings and percussion as Bindrim exposes open wounds with her vibrant poetic vocals. Another downtempo track, which shows the band’s growth, is “Dying and Fallins.” The ambient and trippy song is a polished electronic mind fuck that should be played at all dance clubs.

As well as the band does adding a new dimension to their sound, I:Scintilla is at their highest point when they crank up the guitars and burn through ambitious rockers. “Face the Kill” starts off like a tornado swirling and is fueled by electro beats and perfectly placed guitar rhythms. The song is catchy as anything they’ve written before and could very well be the bands best song they’ve ever recorded.

“Mothership” makes you want to get in your car, mash the gas and tear through ths streets. You could certainly see this song being in a big action movie like the “Bourne” series. “Worth the Wait” is filled with major hooks and the break down in “Ammunition” when Bindrim sings “Who’s laughing now?” you can just see the evil smirk on her face as she has beaten you into submission.

The band has worked very hard and it shows in every song on this offering down to the smallest of details. One could only hope that I:Scintilla’s Dying & Falling has legs and can reach a lot of ears because this is one of the best records of 2010.